Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Can Infect and Cause Mortality in the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans
- 414 Downloads
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been identified as a causative agent in the precipitous decline of amphibians worldwide. Studies on the fungus including its ability to infect and kill the host require use of frogs, a precious resource. Therefore, the development of an alternate host model to study the virulence of the fungus would be useful. Here, we show that Bd can cause mortality in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Incubation of Bd with C. elegans resulted in greater than 70% mortality in the nematodes over a period of 24 h. Fluorescence microscopy using propidium iodide, a fluorescent dye used to determine cell viability, and tactile assays were used to discriminate between live and dead nematodes. These observations suggest that C. elegans may be a useful model organism to study the pathogenicity and virulence mechanisms of Bd.
KeywordsChytridiomycosis Amphibians Pathogenicity
The authors thank R. Patiño for use of the Olympus BH-2 microscope, O. Aguilera (preliminary data) and the TTU Imaging Center for use of the Olympus BX-50. E. Shapard and O. Aguilera were supported by the Texas Tech University Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Program. A. Moss was supported in part by a Texas Tech University Howard Hughes Medical Institute Post-doctoral Teaching Fellowship. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Office of the Vice-President for Research at Texas Tech University (M. San Francisco).
- 1.Berger L, Speare R, Daszak P, Green DE, Cunningham AA, Goggin CL, Slocombe R, Ragan MA, Hyatt AD, McDonald KR, Hines HB, Lips KR, Marantelli G, Parkes H. Chytridiomycosis causes amphibian mortality associated with population declines in the rain forests of Australia and Central America. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1998;95:9031–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 8.Brenner S. The genetics of Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics. 1974;77:71–94.Google Scholar
- 11.Riddle DL, Blumenthal T, Meyer BJ, Preiss JR. C elegans II. Cold spring harbor. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 1997.Google Scholar
- 16.Bradley GA, Rosen PC, Sredl MJ, Jones TR, Longcore JE. Chytridiomycosis in native Arizona frogs. J Wildlife Dis. 2002;38:206–12.Google Scholar
- 17.Bonaccorso E, Guayasamin JM, Mendez D, Speare R. Chytridiomycosis in a Venezuelan amphibian (Bufonidae: Atelopus cruciger). Herpetol Rev. 2003;34:331–4.Google Scholar
- 26.Blaxter ML, Robertson WM. The Cuticle. In: Perry RN, Wright DJ, editors. The physiology and biochemistry of free-living and plant-parasitic nematodes. New York: CAB International; 1998. p. 25–48.Google Scholar
- 30.Andre SE, Parker J, Briggs CJ. Effect of temperature on host response to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa). J. Wildlife Dis. 2008;44:716–20.Google Scholar